Wondering how to dress for menopause so you look chic yet stay cool? Award-winning stylist Olwen Shaw is here to help in the second of her regular fashion and beauty feature (find out more here!)
Many of my clients who are experiencing perimenopause symptoms ask me for how to dress for menopause, particularly with hot flushes. In fact, it is estimated that one-third of the female population (about 10 million) in the UK are currently experiencing one or more symptoms. That is a large percentage to ignore.
Generally, the advice given for how to dress for menopause was to wear loose, light layers in natural fibres, skirts and trousers with elasticated waists. (I am shuddering typing the last two words, thinking of BHS’s old ladies’ trousers in polyester or crimplene!)
If it wasn’t enough that your body shape has possibly gone from Pear to Square and you are feeling pretty low a lot of the time, the last thing you need to be doing is looking like Rent-a-Tent and feeling like you’ve aged 20 years overnight.
The trick to how to dress for menopause is to keep the layers less voluminous and stay up-to-date with leggings and joggers. That way you’ll be comfortable and relaxed.
Fortunately, there is help at hand with fabrics and there are alternatives to cotton, linen, wool etc. Several brands are now using technology to develop fabrics and clothes especially for menopausal women.
Here are my top four:
Become uses advanced anti-flush technology that was voted one of the top 20 global innovations for women’s health and wellness apparel.
One of its most popular selling items is the anti-flush nightdress and there’s a 60-day money back guarantee too.
The name just sounds so cool! Cucumber Clothing sells garments made from “volcanic mineral to help keep your body at the ideal core temperature.” That may not sound too appealing, but the fabrics are super soft and move with your body, keeping you feeling fresh all day.
You can read our interview with Cucumber Clothing here.
How does fabric made from bamboo sound? Bamboo Clothing offers a more relaxed and action range with soft breathable fabrics helping to regulate your temperature, whatever the challenge.
Fifty One Apparel
I love the strapline of Fifty One Apparel: cool clothes for hot women. Their fabrics are created with Certified Space Technology, developed by Nasa to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the day. It’s no wonder Fifty One Apparel is a hit with 50Sense.
While the styles differ, the advice on synthetic fabrics (the polyesters et al) remains the same. Because they’re non-absorbent, they’ll make matters worse with all things flushing!
But saying that, don’t discount them altogether as a percentage of synthetic fabrics in your clothing is okay, especially in jeans. Marks & Spencer do a good range of jeans which have stretch in them, making them super comfortable.
How to dress for menopause’s changing shape
When it comes to the dreaded tummy bloat and changing body shape, there are lots of tips and tricks to disguise a thickening waistline.
Dressing the body you have and not the one you want is a lot about smoke and mirrors, drawing attention to the bits you like and minimising those you don’t.
Colour plays its part too – the go-to black is not always the best choice. A pop of colour is always cheering; a bright necklace or earrings, possibly, if you are not confident in wearing a lot of it. Often a colourful cami or vest underneath a shirt does the job well, as does a colourful pair of shoes. Both draw the eye away from the problematic middle bit!
And also try asymmetrical hemlines, ruching and crossover styles, as well as longer cardigans that create vertical lines. Perfect to help you dress for menopause and look absolutely fabulous, too!
For online styling advice, please get in touch to book an appointment for a complementary 30-minute chat to discuss your needs. Call me on 07720 445 600 or visit me at Olwen Shaw Style. You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
What would you like Olwen to cover in her series? Leave your suggestions in the comments below and she’ll do her best!